Checklist When Comparing Warehouses in Cleveland, Ohio
Warehouses are more than central storage locations. They can be essential for safeguarding your goods, monitoring your inventory, labeling and kitting your products, facilitating smart logistics, and ensuing intact, on-time deliveries. But all companies have differing (sometimes very specific) warehousing needs – perhaps ones that they don’t even fully understand. So when exploring options for warehouses in Cleveland, Ohio, it’s important to carefully weigh whether the facility aligns with your operational requirements, growth strategy, budget, and overall supply chain efficiency.
Rising Warehouse Demands
Warehousing in the U.S. has grown exponentially in the last two decades. As noted in research published in the Journal of Transport Geography, the number of warehouse workers went from about 120,000 in 1998 to more than 800,000 by 2015 – an increase of nearly 580%.
This growth has continued in the years since, driven by the accelerated growth of e-commerce, which spiked nearly 40 percent between 2019 and 2021, according to Forbes. It slowed a bit in 2023, but the American Journal of Transportation reports warehouse construction is expected to climb again in 2024, thanks in part to heightened demand for just-in-time deliveries.
That means businesses will have more options. Being more highly selective can help boost your bottom line and operational efficiency.
Warehouses in Cleveland Ohio – and the rest of the country – serve as pivotal points within supply chains. Contracts continue to include more specialized services, with advancing automation and customized add-ons like distribution and fulfillment, product coding and repacking, kitting, cross-docking, CES (Centralized Examination Station), and bills of lading preparation.
Must-Haves for Warehouses in Cleveland Ohio
To make an informed choice about warehouses in Cleveland Ohio, it’s a good idea to do more than simply get a quote. That’s the first step, of course. But consider also engaging potential providers on the phone or in-person. Gather detailed information on their operations and maybe even schedule an on-site visit.
Some key considerations to get you started:
- Location. You need to know that the warehouse you choose is within reasonable proximity to the suppliers and manufacturers. Consider its accessibility to your target markets. Look too at how closely it’s positioned to major airports, ports, and highways. This can help substantially minimize lead times and transportation costs.
- Size and capacity. Warehouses in Cleveland, Ohio come in all sizes and capacities. The one you choose should allow for scalability of your business (both growth and declines). It should also be equipped to easily manage the specific storage configurations you require (i.e., bulk storage, pallet racking, shelving, etc.).
- Capability to handle industry specific needs. Confirm that the warehouse can adapt to your specific needs, such as temperature-controlled storage or specialized handling.
- Security and safety. You want cameras into and out of the facility, adequate security personnel, and other control mechanisms to ensure your inventory is protected. Ask too about emergency response plans – including fire prevention and suppression systems.
- Regulatory compliance. At minimum, warehouses must comply with local zoning regulations and building codes. But there may be industry-specific certifications (i.e., FDA registered warehousing, customs bonded warehousing) that are required for your inventory.
- Cost considerations. Pricing for third-party warehouse services should be transparent, relatively stable, and in alignment with your available budget.
- Reputation. Check out online reviews. Examine the testimonials. Ask the facility for references, particularly from other customers of the same size and/or industry.
- Sustainability practices. As about how the warehouse prioritizes environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient practices. This will ultimately reflect positively on your reputation as well as theirs.
- Customer service and communication. Warehouses in Cleveland, Ohio don’t last as long as On Time Delivery & Warehouse has without providing stellar customer service and communication. Look for a provider that is responsive and proactive.
If you’re hoping to narrow down your Northeast Ohio warehousing options, our expert logistics and warehouse team can provide answers and insight.
For information on Cleveland Warehousing, Inventory Management, Fulfillment, Distribution, and Trucking Services, Contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.
Warehousing & Storage Industry, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
More Blog Entries:
How a Cleveland 3PL Warehouse Can Help With Onshoring & Nearshoring, Dec. 15, 2023, Cleveland Warehousing Blog